published Friday, May 13th, 2011

What is relevance of Bisek hair color?

LETTERS TO THE EDITORS

What is relevance of Bisek hair color?

I enjoyed the editorial (Gingrich’s chutzpah, May 11) and agree fully with the position taken by the author. However, I do have a nit to pick.

What possible relevance is the color of Ms. Bisek’s hair? “... Bisek, a platinum blonde who would now accompany him around the country ...” (emphasis added).

What is the author trying to accomplish by including this unnecessary and sexist piece of information? A criticism of Ms. Bisek? An indictment of all platinum blondes? Another, and in this one situation unwarranted, slap at Mr. Gingrich’s judgment?

I like the Times Free Press, and I like some of the editorials, especially this one. But, pleaaaassssseee don’t write like a nose-out-of-joint Puritan.

I am a grayed 65-year-old male who still enjoys the sight of a platinum blonde, on the arm of Newt or not.

TONY PHILLIPS

Tullahoma, Tenn.

Superintendent can’t be puppet

I’m not the only person who is sorry to see county Schools Superintendent Dr. Jim Scales go.

He did his best considering certain School Board members didn’t like him from day one.

For example, East Hamilton High was opened. I agree we need new schools built, but the money isn’t there and while I would support a tax raise the majority of people don’t. So much for caring about education.

The County Commission, which was against Dr. Scales, decided to hold the PILOT money because they want it spent how they want. That sounds like blackmail.

Dr. Scales was told to make cuts, and he did. Some board members didn’t like those cuts because those cuts involved people the board liked.

The answer was buy out Dr. Scales and hire someone who will be a puppet.

That’s not the answer!

We need a superintendent who isn’t a puppet.

Maybe the voters should elect the superintendent and take that power away from the board.

The superintendent needs to be independent, not be the board’s puppet. Whoever votes to remove Dr. Scales needs to be reminded of that at election time.

Dr. Scales did his job whether the board liked it or not.

Thank you, Dr. Scales.

CHARLES L.

DAVIDSON

Hixson

Media need to be our eyes and ears

It is not a matter of taking sides, but we look to the media to give us the story and the pictures (after disasters) when we are unable to be there to hear or see for ourselves. Those who had friends and loved ones in those areas watched TV, searched the newspapers and went online to find information. This became the only consolation for some. It also kept some from trying to go and see for themselves — impeding search efforts.

The media is among the first to arrive on the scene, and we expect this to be the norm. I admire those who report in situations where they are placed in harm’s way — especially in the Middle East and war zones. It takes more than just zeal to get the story — it takes courage. Although there may not be a written policy, it is presumed “media get the story at your own risk.” Unless it is a restricted crime scene where evidence has to be preserved or a clear violation of privacy, the media is needed to give us a window even in unfortunate disasters.

We need first responders as well as law enforcement. But we also need the media to assume their role as our eyes and ears — to get the story and preserve that moment in history — even if they are placed in harm’s way. This is the beauty of freedom of the press. To do otherwise, without a rational basis is extremely troubling.

DR. JEAN

HOWARD-HILL

Put halt to benefits for illegal residents

The New York Times article “Schools warned against checking students’ immigration status” quoted in the Times Free Press, May 8, should make any citizens’ blood boil at the Obama Justice and Education departments.

I was raised to respect the law and this country, but these people in the Obama administration are actually flouting the law.

A person who is here illegally should receive no — and I mean no — benefits, except emergency medical care and a ride out of the U.S.

I just do not understand how any politician could let this go on and still feel honorable, patriotic and a guardian of taxpayers’ money. But maybe that is the problem, politicians who do not care.

It is ruining respect for the law and costing states and local governments billions of dollars and is just another incentive for illegals to reach this country. We are so good to them!

GENE ROGERS

Allow women some privacy

To Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker and Rep. John Duncan:

It does you personally a great disservice to follow your GOP group in a vote for a bill to remove abortion from the new insurance being formed for the Health Care Bill.

What is not clear about Planned Parenthood? Federal funds are not used for abortion. The purpose is to educate young and old on issues affecting women. All parents are not as careful as you elected officials are in giving their children clear, honest, realistic facts about sexual matters. Are religious facts causing stumbling blocks? Do powerful white males want ignorant young women? Is the knowledge of contraception another religious taboo?

Should ignorance of cancer be allowed to capture and kill women who need the help, knowledge, advice and support of Planned Parenthood staff?

Your lock-step-Republican votes mock you and insult your honesty and intelligence, as well as mine. The insurance farce is yet another sidetrack issue wasting time and money on religious issues.

I write this prayerfully, hoping to touch the minds of women and men. Shake off the mantle of indifference. It does matter what you think. Stand tall and help women retain a shred of privacy.

MIRIAM CONNER JONES

Athens, Tenn.

Commentary right on U.S. freedoms

I cannot stomach the rants of most uberconservative loudmouths, but I must agree with commentator Radley Balko in his article, “Osama Won” (http://reason.com/blog/2011/05/02/osama-won), on May 2.

“The U.S. has detained people without trial and tortured them at ‘black sites’ overseas, rendered them to other countries to be tortured, claimed a right to detain American citizens without trial, barred those who turned out to be innocent from legal redress in the American courts for their detention and torture, refused compensation to hundreds of innocent people detained at Gitmo, prohibited detainees from talking about their detention and torture, turned the Fourth Amendment’s ‘search and seizure’ provisions into toilet paper with USA PATRIOT and illegal wiretaps, further militarized local police forces, and set up what amounts to a system of internal passport checkpoints in the airports…

“If, as American presidents have never tired of claiming, Al Qaeda attacked us because ‘they hate us for our freedoms,’ they must like us a whole lot more now. If Al Qaeda is really fighting us because they hate our freedoms, the war is already over.”

Mr. Bush, er, Obama, bring the troops home, stop killing people with robots, restore our democracy, tax the rich, create some jobs — now.

BRUCE WILKEY

Signal Mountain

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hambone said...

Note to Republican congressional leaders: In order to limit temptation, future Republican staff, male and female should have and maintain grey hair.

May 13, 2011 at 7:35 a.m.
Legend said...

Very well written, Dr. Jean Howard-Hill. Unfortunately, too many in Chattanooga's local law enforcement have become vindictive. Abusing their authority to intimidate. As such, they've lost their ability to be objectionable and reasonable. For them, it's more of a personal vendetta as they misuse their positions of authority to seek revenge against anyone who would dare to hold them to a higher standard of professionalism.

Then they incorporate their groupies to follow like a sideline cheerleadin squad.

May 13, 2011 at 11:39 a.m.
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